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Meet the Director

Eric Milnes joined the Vermont Choral Union as Director in 2022.


Eric is committed to a choral repertoire featuring masters of the classical canon as well as programming which features collaborations with instrumentalists of distinction, particularly in historically informed performance style.


His career has been centered on the nurturing and training of all collaborators to be more fluent in their technical musical skills and more dynamic in their artistic expression.

Read Eric Milnes' feature in Seven Days

Bernhard Holland, THE NEW YORK TIMES

"Among New York's semi-professional choruses, few could have showed up for work as confidently and so well prepared as did under Milnes' direction at Merkin Concert Hall on Sunday night . . . he achieved a remarkable fineness."

About Eric Milnes

Eric Milnes has been critically acclaimed throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and South America as one of the most dynamic, creative, and compelling choral directors and keyboard artists of his generation. A native New Yorker, his imaginative and energized performances have been applauded at the Utrecht, Bremen, Regensburg, Lufthansa, Potsdam, Passau, Boston, Mostly Mozart, Bruges, Carmel, Bolivian, Montréal, Vancouver, Ottawa, Berkeley, Santa Fe and Orford Festivals, and in performances in every major North American and European cultural center. As conductor he has directed New York Baroque, The National Symphony Orchestra of Santiago (Chile), The New York Collegium, Trinity Consort, Portland, The Portland Baroque Orchestra, I Cantori di New York, Musica Divina, Ottawa, Les Boréades de Montréal, La Bande Montréal Baroque, The St. Lawrence Choir, and Les Voix Baroque, Montréal. His performances have been applauded at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, New York, The Glenn Gould Concert Hall, Toronto, the Alte Oper in Frankfurt, Germany, and at La Salle Gaveau in Paris, France, and are featured regularly on National Public Radio, Radio Canada and CBC broadcasts. His most recent CD release, directing the ensemble L’harmonie des Saisons in the music of Handel, Vivaldi, and Bach, was awarded the Canadian Juno Award for Best Classical CD of 2022. He was also awarded the Juno Award for Best Classical CD in 2016.  His latest recording of sacred Bach Cantatas (Volume 8) was recently a WQXR Radio New York Classical CD release of the month. Mr. Milnes’ performance of Handel’s Messiah with Portland Baroque Orchestra & Chorus was broadcast live coast-to-coast by National Public Radio. A recording he produced for Blue Heron (Boston) in 2018 was awarded Gramophone Magazine’s (UK) Early Music CD of the Year, the first North American recording to do so.


In recent seasons Milnes appears as conductor with the National Symphony of Santiago, Chile in Bach's St. Matthew Passion, directing Monteverdi’s Ullise and Orfeo in staged productions at the Montreal Festival Baroque, conducting at Trinity Wall Street in New York, conducting Bach’s St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, B minor Mass, Mozart Requiem, Monteverdi’s Vespers and Handel’s Israel in Egypt for the Trinity Consort in Portland, Oregon, and performances of Bach and Marais at the Lameque Festival. As founding director of L’Harmonie des Saisons (Quebec), he has conducted over 200 performances in the group’s first ten seasons. Recent tours presented him with soprano Karina Gauvin in Paris and throughout France, with Daniel Taylor at Carnegie Hall in New York, and throughout Japan and China in duo with gambist Wieland Kuijken. His most recent appearances at the Regensburg (Germany) Festival feature him conducting Bach Cantatas and Brandenburg Concerti. This season he performs with the St. Luke’s Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, NY, and with the Montreal Symphony, and conducts on tour in Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec, Magog, at the Abby St. Benoit du Lac, and Salle Bourgie at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.


Eric Milnes has taught with the faculties of The Juilliard School, New York, Hofstra University, New York, William Patterson College, New Jersey, The Berkshire Choral Festival, Massachusetts, and at music conservatories in Oslo, and Bergen, Norway. Also a composer, his sacred choral music is published by Trinitas. Milnes' academic degrees are from Columbia University and The Juilliard School, New York. In 2013 he was awarded the Bishop’s Medal for Distinguished Service to (Episcopal) Church Music for his achievements in the field of church music.


He takes the greatest pride in the accomplishments of his two recently college-graduate daughters, Mary Leah (Vanderbilt University) and Hannah (Columbia University). Mary Leah is now an analyst for the U.S. Defense Department in Washington, D.C., and Hannah is a project manager for NASA, working from wherever she wishes.


Contact Eric

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